Sexton: We can improve

We must come back stronger for final Test says Ireland fly-half

Last Updated: 17/06/12 3:03pm

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Jonathan Sexton: Determined

Jonathan Sexton: Determined

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Jonathan Sexton is determined to bounce back after Ireland fell agonisingly short of clinching a maiden Test win over New Zealand on Saturday.

The fly-half missed out on the chance to boot Ireland to victory for the first time in 107 years when he missed a kick that would have given his side the lead late in the game.

Sexton's chance to write himself into Irish rugby folklore came six minutes from time when he addressed a penalty one yard inside the All Black half after Israel Dagg had been sent to the sin-bin.

But the 26-year-old, who kicked 14 points during the match, saw his long-range effort fail to make the distance.

"I probably needed to strike it 100% for it to go over in those conditions," he said.

"It was a cold night and a 50-metre kick, even longer on the angle, so I knew I had to hit it absolutely perfectly for it to go over.

Disappointed

"They are the type of kicks that you have to step up and take but I didn't catch it perfectly. It wasn't the worst strike I've ever made; it was on target but just a metre and a bit short."

Instead it was left to opposite number Dan Carter to slot over a drop-goal in the final minute to snatch a 22-19 victory for New Zealand and give them a 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Sexton however is eager to make amends when his side take their final chance to topple the world champions in next weekend's third Test.

"We're pretty disappointed with the result," said Sexton. "It is a tough one to take but we've got one more Test against them so we need to bounce back one more time.

"We saw a big improvement from the first to the second Test but I still think we made a lot of mistakes out there.

"We can improve again and we need to come back stronger next week."

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